Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Naturally Clean Home

Has anyone else out there had just about enough of this gloomy winter weather? I understand there are those of you who welcome the rain and find comfort under the clouds, but even being born in the northwest I find myself itching for spring already, only a month into winter.

Sure, spring in Bellingham only means more rain, but it's a different kind of rain. Rain with... optimism, if you will. Rain that you know will only last a little longer before the sun hits in late April and May. There is an end! Spring also means cleaning and refreshing, and particularly in this neck of the woods, it means cleaning green.

We have a great little book at Otion that brings a smile to all neat-freaks and Earth-friendly folks, and myself. It's called "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier and it is packed with 150 easy herbal formulas for cleaning naturally. Here's the description:

"Keep your home clean... and green. Common, nontoxic kitchen ingredients such as baking soda, borax, lemon, and vinegar are wonderfully effective household cleaners. Pair them with essential oils to disinfect and freshen every room. With 150 all-natural, easy-to-prepare cleaning solutions you can: soften and whiten clothing, break up kitchen grease, polish wood floors, scrub the oven, brighten bathroom mirrors, scour porcelain and tiles, deodorize carpets and much more! Banish harmful chemical cleansers from your home; clean it green for a healthier family, a healthier planet."

I love this little book. It makes me feel productive and proactive by doing even the smallest yet noticeable things around the house, such as adding essential oil to my laundry, creating an herbal dish washing blend, or even a citrus wash for my truck.

Here's one of the many great recipes from this book:

Soap Scum Remover:
This formula will remove that annoying buildup that forms on soap dishes and toothbrush holders. The vinegar will produce a fizzing action.

1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 drops essential oil of choice vinegar

Combine baking soda, salt, and essential oil in a small cup. Add just enough vinegar to make a paste. Apply to surface and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse well.

And here's my easy solution to the winter blues: If I can't magically cross my arms and blink myself into spring, I'll do some premature spring cleaning around the house and feel better and do a good service for our planet! Now, if I could just find the page that teaches dogs how to keep mud out of the house...

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